The 1st Special Forces Group operates under U.S. Army Special Forces Command. It is just one part of a larger group of Special Forces in the military including Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.
Origins of the 1st Special Forces Group
While the name suggests that the 1st Special Forces Group was truly the first, you’d be wrong to make that assumption. It certainly was one of the first Special Forces units to be formed, but there were actually a few that came together simultaneously.
The 1st Special Forces Group (1st SFG) is a sector of the Army responsible for operations in Asia and the Pacific. It began as LTC Robert T. Frederick pulled together the initial group who were trained in skills like stealth tactics, hand-to-hand combat, explosives, parachuting, small watercraft, mountain climbing, and ski warfare. They were basically trained to fight in non-traditional ways, being able to make weapons and fight without normal artillery. All this very unique know-how could help penetrate deep behind enemy lines.
The 1st Special Forces Group broke a stalemate with the Germans in Italy using these unconventional kinds of warfare and eventually became responsible for operations in the Pacific, stationed in Japan, where its influence persists today.
As World War II came to a close, the 1st Special Forces Group was disbanded in 1945 due to budget cuts during peacetime but was reactivated in 1960 as the Vietnam War gained steam. It was again shut down in 1974 for the same reasons and re-opened ten years later in 1984. It now remains an important unit in the Pacific region.
Notable Missions Completed by Special Forces
All Special Forces units have seven central missions during peacetime, conflict, and war including:
- Unconventional warfare
- Foreign internal defense
- Special reconnaissance
- Direct action
- Combating terrorism
- Information operations
With the 1st Special Forces Group supporting U.S. strategic efforts in Asia alongside Pacific Command (PACOM), they’ve completed some notable missions worldwide. Some of these include deployments to Haiti as a Coalition Support Team for Operation Uphold Democracy, Humanitarian Demining Operations in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, training development for the creation of the Central Asian Battalion, and quick responses to September 11th for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the Philippines.
Special Forces units are renowned for their unique abilities and are made up of the most elite soldiers in each branch of the military. The 1st Special Forces Group is an integral part of military history and membership is still one of the highest honors you can achieve in a life of service.